Backpacking The Cranberry Wilderness

The Cranberry Wilderness. The crown jewel of West Virginia’s 919,000 acre Monongahela National Forest. It’s like stepping back in time: trails are small and unmarked, wildlife are not habituated to humans, and cell phones are useless due to the dense canopy overhead. This is the site of one the Outdoor Pursuit Center’s Fall Break trips that ran this past weekend. Did it live up to the hype?

“There is something about being out in the middle of nowhere that refreshes my soul.” – Cole Baker

Participants hiked a total of 23.5 miles over 2.5 days. The days were long and challenging, but participants were rewarded with beautiful backcountry campsites near waterfalls and trickling streams. We spent time on the trail getting to know each other, playing games, and telling stories. Our nightly entertainment was sitting around a campfire, with our dinner in hand, telling more stories and playing card games.

Luckily the weather was perfect, with only rain on the night we arrived which didn’t affect us. There were no bugs the entire trip too.

The students got a chance to explore a new place and a new activity. They developed old friendships and started new ones. They’re leaving with a truly unique experience.

By Zach Cross